Wednesday, June 09, 2010

...at least it's short. Oh wait.....


I feel much better after reading this on Lady Gaga's video for the song "Alejandro". I was worried I'd missed something, but the clip seems to be another step in the process of confirming L.G. as a sort of living art installation; one replete with clues to the artist's "theory" of sexuality and gender but one that is ultimately obscure. What no one seems to be talking about is how boring it is, at almost nine minutes about twice as long as it needs to be. I can't say that I'd ever given the question much thought before, but "Alejandro" really could use both more and more interesting lyrics; that's something it shares with most of L.G.'s work. How many lines from "Bad Romance" can you remember, really? If "Alejandro" is indeed L.G.'s valentine to the gay community, then the stylized lighting and regimented, aggressive sexuality reveal a pretty limited understanding of what gay people respond to. What I think bothers me most is the continued sense that what's behind the curtain is a smart-ass art school student who wants us to have these pseudo-academic discussions about what it all means. There's a playfulness in the videos of Christina Aguilera, the best of Madonna, and others in the pop diva sisterhood that Gaga needs to acquire or risk becoming tiresome. (House Next Door)

What's the real Gaga? Personal narratives tend to be fascinatingly difficult to unravel; as mainstream sources confront the Gaga narrative looming in front of them, each tries to wrestle with what she really means. In primetime television, Gossip Girl rushed to be the first in line with a performance from The Fame Monster while mumbling something trite about "a satirical commentary on fame, glamour, and our society's obsession with the shiny new thing." Glee recently had a more nuanced take, locating Gaga at the intersection of theatricality, identity politics, and personal expression. (They also had the insight to stage an acoustic version of "Poker Face" between a daughter and her estranged mother, giving a whole new meaning to the line, "I won't tell you that I love you, kiss or hug you.")

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